So what can you do to improve your improvisation?
1. LISTEN TO MIDDLE EASTERN MUSIC. (Yup, I'm saying it LOUD!!!)
2. Dance to middle eastern music regularly. Dance to live music when you get a chance.
3. Listen some more. The better you understand the music the easier it is to improvise. Learn the standard set of ME rhythms. Get familiar with classic BD songs such as Alf Layla Wa Layla, Amint Billah, Tamra Henna etc.
4. Drill technique.
5. Drill transitions.
6. Learn combinations. Great for improving transitions, these make great improvisational building blocks.
7. Learn choreography. Great for developing your flow.
8. Watch as many performances as you can.
9. Match moves to instruments. Think about where on the body the instrument is played - this can help you pick which part of the body to move. Dance to the beat. Dance to the melody.
10. Keep the beat in your feet.
11. Use combinations.
12. Variations are your friend. Explore each move fully.
13. Create a loose structure.
14. Have a set of safety moves/combinations.
15. Use the rule of fours.
16. Use the breath. BREATHE!
DVDs that can improve your improvisational skills:
Nadira Jamal - Improvisational Toolkit Volumes 1 and 2
Combinography with Bahaia
Bellydance Egyptian Style Baladi - Ranya Renee